A celebration of Lilian Campbell, a fun-loving, family woman and friend

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 19:01 on 4 October 2013.
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Lilian Campbell became known as 'Mrs Campbell fae Abronhill'.

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Lilian Campbell was seventy-seven when she passed away, peacefully, in the early hours of Saturday 28th September 2013 morning, but her life will not be forgotten, and her personality will forever be recalled as the easy-going, friendly, talkative and warm lass, who started out her life in Maryhill.

As her life is celebrated by family and friends at this time, it is rather difficult to label Lilian with one specific label. After all, she was a caring mother, loving daughter, warm sister, fantastic grandmother, brilliant aunt, and a loyal friend. 

The most enduring part of her legacy is that she was always a family orientated person - she was a mother; a carer and provider to her daughters, Louise and Fiona, and son, William. Lilian was also a devoted wife, to her husband of fifty-two years, William Mcnee Campbell, and, the first child to John and Jessie McTavish, not to mention a wonderful grandmother to her five grandchildren – Scott, Aaron, Chloe, Imogen and Nathan.

All of her family had varied amounts of time and experiences with her, but each have been at the receiving end of her warmth, friendliness, and caring nature – characteristics which never slackened when she was in the company of friends.

A devoted friend, Lilian always took time out to talk with her friends; help them with problems, and be there to smile when the world seems only to frown. One thing Lilian was never short of was friends, with an ever-expanding black book of contacts coming as a result of being a fortune-teller; a job which seen the fun-loving family woman meet new people, see new sights, and help people find solace in times of despair and need. It was an occupation which earned her notority, friends and above all, respect; respect which affectionately earned her the nickname, ‘Mrs Campbell fae Abronhill’, with the calls constantly coming in. 

Born in Glasgow’s Rottenrow Maternity Hospital, on Thursday, June 4th, 1936, Lilian McCrimmon McTavish was the first child to parents John Campbell McTavish and Jessie McTavish – a young couple who lived at 27 Hazlitt Street, in Glasgow. Although, Lilian’s parents quickly relocated to Springbank Street, after Lilian was born, with the street forging the tapestry for many of Lilian’s earlier memories

Born into a family-focused, happy home, the house soon became a home; a place for family, friends and entertainment, between John and Jessie – Lilian’s parents – as well as Lilian, herself, and her younger siblings; sisters, Jessie and Sarah, and brothers Kenneth, Alastair, and John. 

Attending primary school, in Maryhill, and, later going to her local high school, Lilian was an ordinary student. Although, throughout her education Lilian developed a creative side; a side of her personality which seen her win a school competition to have a piece of her own artwork displayed in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It was something both her and her family were immensely proud of. After leaving school at the age of fifteen, Lilian was eager to step into the world of work, eventually being employed at the Singer sewing machine factory, in Clydebank, where she cast her eye over the products, as a sewing machine inspector; a livelihood Lilian continued with until she met a young William Campbell (full name, William Macnee Campbell). 

A qualified electrician, William and Lilian would meet as if fate were pulling them together; with the story of the couple dating back to September 1958 – when William Campbell had to decide whether to walk to the picture house or return to the dancing. His decision would change his life.

That night, William Campbell had been stood up, after waiting for his date to arrive, outside the old Killermont Bus Station. In a thirty-second decision, he chose to return to the dancing at Dennistoun Palais.

Returning to the dancing, on his own, William met Lilian, who was taking time out to relax, with a colleague, from Singers. It was love at first sight, and – later that night – when the dancing closed its doors, at 10.30pm, William seen Lilian onto the tram, and made arrangements to meet up with her again, the next week, when the pair would go to a city centre picture house, to watch Kurt Neumann’s on-screen adaption of George Langelaan’s short story, ‘The Fly’. 

Then, nearly three weeks after they met,the pair headed off to Largs, where a September weekend day-trip seen the winching couple play pitch and putt golf; an occasion remembered fondly by both Lilian and William, as on that day, the sole of Lilian’s shoe came off, and William came to her rescue; buying her a brand new pair of shoes. 

A couple more weeks after Largs, William was being presented to the McTavish family, by Lilian, in the kitchen of the family’s Springbank Street home. After that, the pair went on to form a loving relationship over the next few years, before they eventually wed in 1961.

Married at St Cuthbert’s and Queen’s Cross Church, on June 10th, 1961, the couple were bound in holy matrimony; and, later on that day, the newlyweds headed off to Central Station, in Glasgow; stepping abroad the train for Wales, as the couple eagerly awaited their one-week honeymoon, in Llandudno.

Upon their return, to Glasgow, an eager Lilian couldn’t wait to start her new life with William. After returning from their honeymoon the pair immediately moved in together, in the home of William’s parents, in Cardowan Road, Carntyne, as the couple’s dream home – purchased three days before the wedding – had not been fully renovated, in time.After six months of living under the same roof as her husband’s parents, Lilian was ecstatic to move into her new house, a dream which came true in November 1961.

Moving to Wilton Drive, the newly married couple looked towards starting their own family, and on Saturday, March 21st, 1964, Lilian became a mother to Louise McTavish Campbell – the first of the three children which Lilian would have. 

Preceding the birth of Louise, Lilian had elected to leave her job at the Clydebank Singer sewing machine factory, to pursue being a full-time mother and housewife. And, over the next few months, Lilian did just that. She cleaned, cooked, dressed and washed Louise; providing the happy home and warm mother which was such a large part of Lilian’s caring personality.  After a few months, though, Lilian had decided to return to the world of work; finding employment with Moore, Taggart & Co Ltd, at 2-18 Albion Street, Glasgow, as a tailor’s cutter. It was position she loved, but held for only as short time.

On Friday, July 28th, 1967, Lilian gave birth to her second daughter, and second child; Fiona Lilian Campbell.  Joining her big sister, Louise, the family had determined that they had out-grown their Wilton Drive home, with Lilian eager to find a new family home soon.

After eight years of living in Wilton Drive, the family moved to Glenavon Road, where Lilian again became a social neighbour; popular across the street’s looming tour blocks, as the friendly, easy-going mother of two little girls. Then, on Saturday, September 4th, 1971, Lilian became a mother once more. This time, Lilian was gifted with a baby boy, and became mother to William. Again, Lilian chose to ditch work and favour staying at home, to look after her infant son, and continue to care for, and raise, all of her children – which she so adored.

Now a mother of three, and with holidays to Spain, Austria, Blackpool and Islay already experienced, Lilian decided upon a change of scenery; opting to apply for social housing elsewhere in, or around, Glasgow. William, her husband, favoured East Kilbride, for the purposes of being closer to work. However, when a property in the New Town of Cumbernauld became available, Lilian grabbed the opportunity with both hands, and after four years at Glenavon Road, the Campbell family moved to Pine Grove, in Abronhill, Cumbernauld. 

Now 1973, and a full-time mother, Lilian seen no need to return to work; vowing to stay at home, and raise her three children; eventually using her time to help out at a local playgroup at Abronhill’s former Leisure Centre, now the area’s ‘Community Facility’. During the down-time, however, Lilian decided to read tea leaves, in an enterprise which would see Lilian meet new people, mark lifelong friends, and pursue a career she enjoyed recreationally. In the end, her decision to read cups earned her the immortal nickname, ‘Mrs Campbell fae Abronhill’.

Despite earning this reputation though, Lilian wanted to move the family on, and experience more sights and sounds. After being offered a house in either Eastfield or Ravenswood, Lilian decided upon Liddel Road. And, in 1989, Lilian moved her family across Cumbernauld, to the house which would become the new family home for the new family; her grandchildren, and future family members.

After twenty-four years in Liddel Road Lilian battled against cancer – and won; sticking out the seemingly near-impossible twelve radiotherapy sessions. After the therapy, however, Lilian’s health deteriorated, and, on Saturday, September 28th, 2013, Lilian passed away peacefully in her sleep.

She is survived by her husband, William; her daughters, Fiona and Louise; and, her son, William.

Her family are touched by messages of condolence and wish to thank everybody for their support. Those wishing to commemorate, and celebrate, Lilian’s life, invited to attend a service at the Co-operative funeral parlour, in The Wynd, Cumbernauld Village; her interment at Lambhill Cemetery Extension, on 19 Tresta Road, Glasgow, G23 5LB, followed by a buffet at Puccini Restaurant and Bar, at 43 Main Street, Cumbernauld Village, G67 2RT.
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